First North-South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México City 2018 – Extractivismo, generación de riqueza?

Conferencia de la Plenaria del Jueves por Aleida Azamar: “Extractivismo, ¿generación de riqueza?”

First North-South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México City 2018 – La economía industrial no es circular sino entrópica

Conferencia de la Plenaria del Jueves por Joan Martínez Alier: “La economía industrial no es circular sino entrópica”

Unlearning: From Degrowth to Decolonization

In Unlearning: From Degrowth to Decolonization, Jamie Tyberg makes a timely intervention into the degrowth discussions, reorienting degrowth as a means to an end, that end being decolonization. Through the lens of the Green New Deal, and later the Red Deal, Tyberg ties together theory and real life examples highlighting how degrowth is, can, and must be, part of the post-COVID-19 response. Both an overview and review of the degrowth literature and an analysis of how degrowth can be utilized critically, Tyberg instructs us how we can use degrowth principles to strive and push for a true decolonized future, one we need to achieve.

(Abstract by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung)

The lens of ecological law: a look at mining

Containing an in-depth study of the emerging theory and core of ecological law, this book insightfully proposes a ‘lens of ecological law’ through which the disparity between current laws and ecological law can be assessed. The lens consists of three principles: ecocentrism, ecological primacy and ecological justice. These principles are used within the book to explore and analyse the challenges and opportunities related to the transition to ecological law and to examine three key mining case studies.

Debt, plunder and degrowth

“Debt is essential to the development of capitalism, it forces to produce more and more for foreign markets. Debt is an accelerator of extractivism at the base of capitalist accumulation and a means to appropriate the economic growth of other countries: those in the periphery.”


First North-South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México City 2018 – Megaproyectos: minería en América Latina

Esta presentación trata de los impactos económicos, sociales y ambientales del extractivismo en América Latina.

Performing ‘blue degrowth’: critiquing seabed mining in Papua New Guinea through creative practice

Scripted as a sustainable alternative to terrestrial mining, the licence for the world’s first commercial deep-sea mining (DSM) site was issued in Papua New Guinea in 2011 to extract copper and gold from a deposit situated 1600 m below the surface of the Bismarck Sea. Whilst DSM’s proponents locate it as emergent part of a blue economy narrative, its critics point to the ecological and economic uncertainty that characterises the proposed practice. Yet, due its extreme geography, DSM is also profoundly elusive to direct human experience and thus presents a challenge to forms of resistance against an industry extolled as having ‘no human impact’. Against this background, this paper analyses the ways in which ‘blue degrowth’—as a distinct form of counter-narrative—might be ‘performed’, and which imagined (and alternative) geographies are invoked accordingly. To do this it critically reflects upon 2 years of participatory research in the Duke of York Islands focusing on three, community-developed methods of resisting DSM. Practices of counter mapping, sculpture and participatory drama all sought to ‘perform’ the deep-ocean environment imagined as relational whilst simultaneously questioning the very notion of ‘economy’ central to the discourse of ‘blue growth’.

Sustainability Science, vol. 15, 2020

Mapping and Analyzing Ecological Distribution Conflicts in Andean Countries

The extractive sector is increasingly important in the GDP and export basket of the four Andean countries under study (ACs) (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia). The analysis of an updated inventory of 296 environmental conflicts in the EJAtlas for these four countries reaches the following conclusions: extractivism causes environmental conflicts related to mining, fossil fuels, hydropower and biomass; indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant communities are the most affected; behind the conflicts, there are not only environmental impacts but also social impacts that concern livelihoods, land deprivation and work insecurity, and also loss of cultural practices and cultural identity; most of the forms of collective action used in protests are peaceful, most notably petitions, street marches, media activism, lawsuits, while States and companies criminalize activists and are often violent (with about 75 cases in which there are deaths or disappearance of environmental defenders); socio-environmental movements (that sometimes include environmental NGOs) have achieved relative success, stopping 59 of the 296 conflict-generating projects and giving birth to new forms of resistance. While successfully stopping single projects cannot be construed as a general critique of economic growth, such attempts are congruent with post-development, community-centric, ecologically-balanced and culturally-sensitive Andean visions such as buen vivir or sumak kawsay. They are also congruent with policy proposals put forward from a post-economic growth perspective such as “leaving unburnable fuels in the ground” and “resource extraction caps”.

Ecological Economics, vol. 157, March 2019, pp. 80-91

De-growing environmental justice: Reflections from anti-mining movements in Eastern Europe

While the critique to economic growth is quintessential in the degrowth scholarship, one may observe a similar focus in various environmental justice movements around the world. This is particularly visible when it comes to the increasing perception that mega-development projects are both unjust and unsustainable, threatening the survival of people and environments. In this paper, we illustrate this focus by looking at two anti-mining movements in Eastern Europe (EE): Save Rosia Montana (Romania) and Krumovgrad (Bulgaria). The local movements describe open cast mining (even in the prospective phase) as potential destruction of basic sources of life (material commons such as water or crops, and community relations). The paper emphasizes a dynamic involved in doing environmental justice, or ‘de-growing EJ’: affected communities organize themselves by ‘staying in place’, producing alternative economies, organizing local democratic institutions. What potentially “grows” here, is a societal imaginary of justice on how to reproduce the socio-ecological conditions of life by protecting and re-defining traditional means of production and grassroots practices, knowledge, wealth, and values.

Ecological Economics, vol. 159, May 2019, pp. 271-278

Not So Natural an Alliance? Degrowth and Environmental Justice Movements in the Global South

Both environmental justice (EJ) and degrowth movements warn against increasing the physical size of the economy. They both oppose extractivism and debt-fuelled economies, as well as the untrammelled profit motive which fails to incorporate full environmental and social costs. They both rely upon social movements that have led scholarship in its activities and achievements, in part through challenging power structures. Therefore, some argue the existence of an obvious alliance between degrowth and EJ movements in the Global South. Yet, direct observation unveils concerns from EJ activists in the Global South about the plausibility of alliances until some significant divergences have been examined and reconciled. Activists inspire, promote and disseminate transformations that overcome several forms of domination. Their perspectives on degrowth advance informed cooperation. Our aim is thus to systematically evaluate tensions and possible analogies between the scope of action of EJ organisations operating in the Global South and the main propositions of the Degrowth movement. The argument relies on methodical scrutiny of core themes in the degrowth debate by critical thinkers in the Global South. It incorporates insights from EJ struggles in Ecuador, Italy, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uruguay, with important implications in Brazil, Mozambique, and Indonesia. The paper contributes to an exploration of the implications of the degrowth debate for the Global South, with the purpose of strengthening potential synergies, through an assertive recognition of the barriers to doing so.

Ecological Economics, vol. 157, March 2019, pp. 175-184

A socio-metabolic perspective on environmental justice and degrowth movements

Degrowth and environmental justice movements share overarching aims of sustainability and justice and pursue them through radical social change and resistances. Both movements are diverse and comprised of groups that originate and operate in different contexts. The ever-growing metabolism of the world economy presents an obstacle to both movements’ aims, while a socio-metabolic perspective unveils very different characteristics and contexts of the specific struggles. The strategies of many environmental justice movements located at the frontiers of resource extraction are employed to resist coerced socio-ecological transition towards industrialization and to protect more customary ways of life. Movements for the degrowth of industrial metabolism tend to push for socio-ecological transformation, pursuing new ways of life and reimagined social relations in alternative societies. The overarching aims and obstacles of these movements may be shared, but their struggles, strategies and required actions are not the same. Alliances should seek advantages from this plurality of perspectives and positions within their struggles, while acknowledging potential tensions arising from these different contexts.

Ecological Economics, vol. 161, July 2019, pp. 330-333

First Nations sovereignty, Environmental Justice, and Degrowth in Northwest BC, Canada

Abstract: Environmental Injustice has been intrinsic to Canadian extractivism, with First Nations displaced from their traditional territories and their cultural identity suppressed through an explicit policy of cultural genocide to make way for colonial extractivist practices. Likewise, this extractivism has long been legitimized in Canada through a rhetoric of economic growth. This paper presents an overview of Northwest Coast and Interior First Nations peoples anti-colonial struggles in British Columbia, Canada and demonstrates how First Nations struggles in BC for environmental defense, sovereignty, and traditional culture and governance deeply interweave shared objectives with both Environmental Justice and Degrowth.

Ecological Economics, Volume 162, August 2019, pp. 133-142

Pós-extrativismo e decrescimento: saídas do labirinto capitalista – Debate

Debate com o economista Alberto Acosta e cientista político Ulrich Brand com mediação de Tadeu Breda no lançamento do livro “Pós-extrativismo e decrescimento: saídas do labirinto capitalista”, das editoras Elefante e Autonomia Literária, em São Paulo, Brasil.

Pós-extrativismo e Decrescimento – Saídas do labirinto capitalista

Na Europa — e, agora, também na América Latina — as políticas de austeridade estão fazendo com que a pobreza e a desigualdade voltem a aumentar: o Estado de bem-estar social sucumbe diante do mercado financeiro, enquanto novas fronteiras petrolíferas, mineiras e agropecuárias engolem a vegetação nativa, atropelando os Direitos Humanos e os Direitos da Natureza.

Acosta e Brand são categóricos: não existe justiça social sem justiça ambiental, e vice-versa. No momento em que a chamada “onda progressista” abandona a América Latina, e que a extrema-direita cresce em todas as partes, os autores apontam a necessidade urgente de alternativas que superem — e aperfeiçoem — a modernidade. Se nem as experiências socialistas nem as progressistas conseguiram romper com as ideias de progresso, desenvolvimento e crescimento, é preciso apurar a reflexão.

Para Acosta e Brand, o freio à exploração maciça dos recursos naturais na periferia do sistema deve aliar-se a uma reversão — não apenas a uma interrupção — do crescimento nos países centrais do capitalismo.

(Adaptado do editor)

Salidas del laberinto capitalista: decrecimiento y postextractivismo

About the book:
Review of the frameworks of degrowth and post-extractivism in the context of the global ecological crisis with particular reference to the fetish of economic growth and the extractivist economy in the Global South (and in Latin America in particular).

ISBN 13: 9788498887792